The Dell bit the dust a couple of weeks ago and I replaced it with a 3 year old Acer laptop that my son gave me after he bought a new one.
The problem I’m having is the old external drive has a bunch of files on it that I really need to access with the laptop, but I can’t get the drive to show up in Windows Explorer.
I know the drive itself is still working because it works fine when I plug it into my computer at work. I’m hoping you can tell me what I need to do to get my old USB hard drive to work with the Acer laptop?
Rick’s answer: Carol, many older hard drives require more power than a single USB 2.0 port on a typical laptop can provide. This results in the laptop not being able to “see” the drive.
Luckily, there’s an easy work-around for this problem. All you need to do is buy a USB power “Y” adapter cable. You can find them at most any online electronics retailer, but the one that I use (and have great luck with) is this one.
To use the “Y” cable with your external drive, simply plug the end of the drive’s existing USB cable into the female plug on the “Y” cable, then plug BOTH male connectors into separate USB ports on the laptop.
That setup will allow the drive to draw power from two USB ports simultaneously which should easily provide enough current to power the drive.
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